Elderly Cheektowaga man pleads guilty to assaulting wife with hammer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- 88-year-old Cheektowaga resident Martin Turkiewicz admitted before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case Thursday that he attacked his then 86-year-old wife with a claw hammer back in September.

The assault occurred at the Garden Gate Healthcare Facility on Union Road in Cheektowaga, where now 87-year-old Rita Turkiewicz was staying.

Turkiewicz’s previous attorney Joseph Terranova stated that his client’s acts were “a clumsy act of desperation of compassion,” and that Martin was attempting to put his wife out of her misery.

Rita Turkiewicz suffers from dementia and declining health. The 87-year-old is recovering her injuries, which include a skull fracture and a brain bleed.

Turkiewicz pleaded guilty Thursday to Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony.

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The 88-year-old was originally charged with Assault in the First Degree, and Attempted Murder in the Second Degree.

As a condition of his plea, Turkiewicz waives his right to an appeal, among other things.

An Order of Protection stands, which prohibits the couple from being alone together. They are however, allowed to see each-other under supervision for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve.

As a condition of Turkiewicz’s bail, he is allowed to remain at home as opposed to in custody as long as his daughter provides round-the-clock supervision.

Turkiewicz’s current attorney, Rodney Personius, requested Judge Case allow another family member to substitute in forTurkiewicz”s daughter, who was living out of state until September.

Judge Case granted the request once another family member is agreed upon by both the defense and prosecution.

Turkiewicz will be sentenced Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.

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